Timeline feature was first introduced in Excel 2013 and the good news is you can use it with a pivot table as well. It can be a game changer for you to filter dates in a pivot table.
Because the problem with default filter option is that it’s very hard to filter with months, quarters and years if you have simple dates.
But with a timeline filter is you don’t need to open the filter again and again, you just do it with a single click.
That’s why Microsoft has introduced timeline filter option.
- Go to Pivot Table Tools → Analyze → Filter → Insert Timeline.
- Click on insert timeline and you’ll get a pop-up box.
- From the pop-up window, select the date columns which you have in your data.
- Click OK.
Now you have a timeline filter in your worksheet and you can filter your pivot table with this.
Related: Excel Slicer
Components of a Timeline Filter
Following are some major components you can use to master timelines.
- Clear Filters: You can use this button to clear all filter.
- Time Level: From time level option you can use four different time levels. You have days, months, quarters and years to use as time level.
- Timeline: Use the timeline to filter dates for the period you want. You can filter dates for days, months, quarters and years. You also select more than a day, month, quarter & year but only in sequence.
- Scrollbar: Use the scrollbar to get to scroll through the days, months, quarters and years.
Customizing a Timeline
You also have options to customize your timeline. You can make following changes in it.
1. Change Size
You can change the size of a pivot table timeline by using following steps.
- Select your timeline.
- Go To Timeline Tools → Options → Size.
- Change height and width of your timeline.
And another best way is to resize a timeline from its borders.
2. Change Caption Name
By default, it will show you the caption name same as your column name which you have selected to insert a timeline. But you can change it anytime by using following steps.
- Select your timeline.
- Go To Timeline Tools → Options → Timeline → Timeline Caption.
- Enter new name.
- Hit enter.
3. Apply Timeline Styles
Yes, you can use different styles to your timeline in the pivot table. There are total 12 different theme styles you can use for pivot table timeline.
You can also create a customized theme for your timeline by creating a new Timeline style.
You have following options to customize in your timeline.
4. Link a Timeline with more than one Pivot Table
Like a slicer, you can also link a timeline with more than one pivot table. Just follow these simple steps to do that.
- Select your timeline and right click on it.
- Now, click on Report Connections.
- Now, you’ll get a pop window with the list of pivot tables.
- Tick mark the pivot tables which you want to link with the timeline.
- And, click OK.
So here is the whole story about a pivot table timeline. You can use it where you want to quickly filter your pivot tables.
You can also use a timeline in your dashboard to control your multiple pivot tables in a single click. I am pretty sure from now on words you would love it.
I hope this tip will help you save you a lot of time.
Now tell me one thing. Have you ever used a timeline with a pivot table before? Please share your views with me in the comment section. I would love to hear from you.
And, please don’t forget to share this tip with your friends. I’m sure they will appreciate it.
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About the Author
Puneet is using Excel since his college days. He helped thousands of people to understand the power of the spreadsheets and learn Microsoft Excel. You can ﬁnd him online, tweeting about Excel, on a running track, or sometimes hiking up a mountain.